SS Principe Umberto

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Name: SS Principe Umberto
Namesake: Prince Umberto
Owner: Navigazione Generale Italiana
Port of registry: Genoa[1]
Builder: Riuniti, Palermo[1]
Yard number: 13[1]
Completed: April 1909[1]
Fate: sunk by U-5, 8 June 1916
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,838 GRT[1]
Length: 145.1 m (476 ft 1 in) (pp)[1]
Beam: 16.3 m (53 ft 6 in)[1]
Propulsion: 2 × quadruple expansion steam engines[1]
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)[1]

SS Principe Umberto was an Italian passenger and refrigerated cargo ship built in 1908 for Navigazione Generale Italiana. During World War I, Principe Umberto served as an armed merchant cruiser. While transporting troops in the Adriatic in June 1916, the ship was sunk by Austro-Hungarian U-boat U-5 with the loss of 1,650 men.


Principe Umberto was built in 1908 by Riuniti in Palermo for Navigazione Generale Italiana,[1] a company that sailed to Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, as well as passenger service to North and South America.[2] She was 145.1 meters (476 ft 1 in) long (pp) with a beam of 16.3 meters (53 ft 6 in). She was powered by two quadruple expansion steam engines that moved her at up to 16 knots (30 km/h).[1]

Principe Umberto's routes and early activities are not known, but during World War I, the ship was employed as an armed merchant cruiser to transport men and materiel in support of Italy.[3] On 8 June 1916, Principe Umberto and two other transports were carrying troops under the escort of two Règia Marina destroyers.[4] The Austro-Hungarian U-boat U-5, under the command of Friedrich Schlosser, launched a torpedo attack that successfully hit the Italian ship.[5] Principe Umberto went down quickly with the loss 1,750 men.[3][4]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 "Principe Umberto". Miramar Ship Index. R.B.Haworth. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  2. "Navigazione Generale Italiana". 26 November 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sieche, p. 22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rider, p. 459.
  5. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Principe Umberto". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 


  • Rider, Fremont, ed. (1917). Information Annual 1916: A Continuous Cyclopedia and Digest of Current Events. New York: Cumulative Digest Corporation. OCLC 67878688. 
  • Sieche, Erwin F. (1980). "Austro-Hungarian Submarines". Warship, Volume 2. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9780870219764. OCLC 233144055.